More About Environmental Responsibility
In 2006, MGM Resorts International established the Energy and Environmental Services Division to ensure the Company's impact on the environment is fully defined and that programs and processes are put into place to mitigate any negative environmental impacts. As a result, the Company has implemented numerous conservation programs that substantially reduce electricity, gas, and water usage at all of its Las Vegas resorts.
MGM Resorts International is the proud recipient of many awards including but not limited to twelve Green Key certifications, the 2010 Earth-Minded Award, and the 2010 Best Green Owner award. The most profound example of environmental responsibility is prominent in the design, construction, and operations of CityCenter, which is the world's largest environmentally sustainable, mixed-use new construction development to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification. Read more about our awards.
Read more about some resort specific programs:
Below are highlights of recent sustainability programs implemented throughout the Company.
MGM Resorts International has aggressively pursued initiatives to reduce electricity consumption by more than 51 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually – the equivalent to taking more than 4,200 average U.S. homes off the grid.
- Variable frequency drives (VFDs) allow for the regulation of electricity flow to the huge chiller pumps that cool resorts. Computers tell the system how much cooling is really needed in the building at a particular moment; the pumps, rather than working at 100 percent capacity, respond accordingly. Mandalay Bay installed VFDs for the pumps at Shark Reef, which saves more than 1.1 million kWh annually. The Mirage installed VFDs on the Mirage Events Center chillers, which saves more than 317,000 kWh annually.
- Bellagio initiated a slot machine retrofit program, which resulted in significant energy savings, by installing LED (Light-Emitting Diode) and cold cathode bulbs. In addition, motors were eliminated from all machines and the traditional CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors were replaced with modern LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors.
- Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Circus Circus Las Vegas, and MGM Grand Las Vegas all installed AutoFlame computerized combustion controls in their respective central plant, reducing natural gas consumption annually by more than 47,000 MMBtus combined.
- Excalibur installed a high efficiency burner on a large hot water boiler in its central plant, reducing annual natural gas consumption by more than 9,000 MMBtu. It also retrofitted the guest parking garage lights with high efficiency fluorescent bulbs, saving 350,000 kWh annually.
- Other high efficiency lighting projects include: the Circus Circus Las Vegas clown sign marquee retrofit that saved more than 2.2 million kWh annually, or the equivalent of approximately 180 average U.S. homes; the New York-New York lighting retrofit project, which resulted in annual electricity savings of 3.2 million kWh, or enough to power more than 265 homes for an entire year; and The Mirage lighting project, which also contributed to energy savings of more than 1.2 million kWh annually.
Water conservation is a priority for MGM Resorts International given the desert location of the majority of the resorts and casinos it owns and operates. Consequently, the Company has implemented a variety of water-saving strategies and technologies to reduce the impact on surrounding areas, saving millions of gallons of potable water each year.
- All of the MGM Resorts International Las Vegas properties incorporate desert landscaping in the land surrounding the resorts. For example, Excalibur removed 27,000 square feet of grass near sidewalks and public areas and replaced it with high quality synthetic turf. The resort expects to save an average of 1.7 million gallons of potable water annually as a result of this project.
- Every MGM Resorts International property in Las Vegas has also implemented a "sheets and towels" reuse program. At Bellagio, this not only reduces emissions from laundry delivery trucks, but it has reduced laundering requirements (including water consumption) by more than 30 percent.
- Superior showerheads, faucets and toilets were selected for CityCenter by designers for their aesthetic appeal and functionality. These low-flow fixtures equate to a water savings of approximately 30 percent without compromising performance.
- Waste water from Monte Carlo's cooling tower was used for dust control during CityCenter construction, saving 2.4 million gallons of potable water in total.
- Mandalay Bay uses non-potable well water in its central plant cooling towers. This results in saving millions of gallons of drinkable, public water from being used for commercial heating and cooling.
CityCenter is MGM Resorts International's most visible example of sustainable design and construction practices. This development is setting a standard for responsible growth in Las Vegas by achieving the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® Gold certification, representing the largest certified development in the world.
- The CityCenter project recycled or reused more than 93 percent of construction and demolition waste. This not only diverted waste from landfills, but also lessened the demand for virgin materials, the need for new product manufacturing, and the impact from cross-country transportation.
- CityCenter landscaping incorporates 25 species of drought-tolerant plants, including Agave, Aloe, Cercidium, Dasylirion, Echinocactus, Hesperaloe, Leucophyllum and Yucca. Additionally, certain plants were avoided. For example, annuals are used at many Las Vegas resorts to give color to the landscape, but they need to be replaced three to five times a year. To avoid the constant rotation, no annuals will be used in CityCenter's exterior landscape.
- More than 50 percent of all wood products used in ARIA and Crystals are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, which means that the wood comes from forests that have sustainable management practices in place. As a result, in 2009, CityCenter was honored with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Design and Build with FSC Award. With more than $41 million worth of FSC-certified wood, CityCenter represents the greatest use of FSC-certified wood in a single project in the United States to date.
- Employees, residents and guests of CityCenter who drive hybrid and electric cars have access to preferred parking to encourage the use of alternative-fuel or low-emission vehicles.
- CityCenter was designed with a highly efficient, state-of-the-art central plant with an 8.2 megawatt combined heat and power system that captures excess heat to warm domestic hot water for hotel use.
RECYCLING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT
All MGM Resorts International Las Vegas Strip properties have implemented robust back-of-house sorting and recycling operations. Recycled materials include plastic, glass, paper, cardboard, metal, food scraps, landscape waste, cork and cooking oil. From 2007 to 2010, the Company's recycling rate more than tripled, equating to the recycling of more than 33,000 tons of materials in 2010, the weight of 75 fully loaded 747 airplanes. For its outstanding accomplishments in recycling, MGM Resorts has been presented with three national recycling awards from the US EPA, American Forest and Paper Association and Glass Packaging Institute.
- Almost all MGM Grand Las Vegas restaurants have eliminated trash cans as part of the resort's "upstream recycling" program. Trash cans were replaced with color-coded bins for separating clear glass, tinted glass, food waste and other waste. Every employee is responsible for ensuring the proper sorting of trash with a goal of becoming a zero-waste-to-landfill operation.
- More than 90 percent of the waste from the shows and exhibits at Mandalay Bay Convention Center is diverted from the landfill. Property-wide, Mandalay Bay diverted more than 5,000 tons in 2009. The Mirage implemented additional recycling best practices, resulting in more than 3,000 tons recycled, which equates to a 34 percent recycling rate.
- In the spirit of reuse, MGM Resorts International was able to replace end-of-life boilers at MGM Grand Las Vegas and New York-New York by transferring and reusing newer boilers that were no longer needed by Mandalay Bay.
- Since December 2007, a corporate-wide waste management program has resulted in an annual reduction of more than 5,000 compactor pulls. This translates to more than 257,000 diesel truck miles avoided, which prevents the emissions of approximately 700 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
- Recycling coordinators from all resorts meet regularly and frequently at the Waste Management Council meetings to share best practices that advance the Company's waste management initiatives and increase the overall recycling rate.
SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN
MGM Resorts International supports sustainable purchasing practices and considers raw materials, logistics, and the performance of a product when making buying decisions. The Company works with the supply chain to identify best practices and new opportunities for reducing the environmental impact.
- Grocery vendors have committed to deliver 90 percent of all items to Luxor through a maximum of two distributors, resulting in reduced transportation mileage to and from distribution centers.
- Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef has partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium to educate visitors on the importance of making sustainable seafood choices. In addition, RM Seafood restaurant made a commitment to use only sustainably caught seafood.
- MGM Grand Las Vegas tracks "green-friendly" vendors in its purchasing database to easily identify sustainable companies and products when needed.
- Monte Carlo, along with other Strip resorts, has converted to environmentally friendly, citrus-based (non-ammoniated and non-bleach based) cleaning products.
- Bellagio launched a program to consolidate extra office supplies and make them available to any department that needs them. The intent is to reduce supply orders and reuse available supplies, which reduces delivery truck emissions and minimizes packaging.
OUTREACH AND EDUCATION
MGM Resorts International's communication program is focused on educating employees, guests, and the surrounding communities about what sustainability is, how it affects the tourism industry, and what each and every one of us can do to create a greener planet.
- The Company launched an employee awareness campaign at every resort called "Conservation Begins At Home." Through this program, more than 50,000 MGM Resorts International employees learn how to incorporate sustainable practices into their everyday lives.
- Monte Carlo has replaced all mailed guest communication with email. The resort also launched an employee campaign that trains employees to think about environmentally sensitive practices while at work as well as at home.
- Excalibur's employee green team regularly publishes internal newsletters to share environmentally friendly property accomplishments, profiles of eco-employees, and tips for greening the workplace. Circus Circus Las Vegas has a similar employee program. This resort coordinates employee green fairs, and it regularly includes green tips in daily announcements.
- Mandalay Bay hosts an annual Earth Day fair open to Company employees, guests, and the general public. NV Energy, The Nature Conservancy, and UNLV participate along with many other for-profit and non-profit organizations. Luxor partnered with the Department of Energy to host The Zero Living Home tour; another public event which featured a walk-through home that shows off the latest in home energy-saving technology, including efficient lighting, solar power, ENERGY STAR appliances, and more.
- MGM Resorts International raises awareness for Earth Hour and the fight against climate change by shutting off all tower wash lighting, marquees, and signs on the buildings at all Strip resorts each year in March. Each resort provided in-room communication for all the rooms on the Strip.